As part of government’s effort to ensure a coordinated response in addressing adolescent pregnancies in Ghana, the Department of Gender under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection held stakeholders engagement on the 5-year strategic plan developed to address adolescent pregnancies in Ghana together with a Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) in 2018.
The 2nd Bi-annual meeting aimed at reviewing and tracking progress and assessing gaps to ensure that the objective for the development of the strategy is met within the time frame.
The plan provides a clear vision and direction for all stakeholders involved in the sexual and reproductive health sector in Ghana. It sets out the goal, strategic objectives intervention, and a monitoring plan to aid the full integration of adolescent issues into the development process to harness their potential to attain overall sustainable development in the country.
Speaking at the 2nd Bi-Annual Tracking Meeting On the Implementation of the Adolescent Pregnancy Strategy in Accra, Mr. Mawutor Ablo, Director Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, MoGCSP said, it is very important that the plan is reviewed to know how far they have come with its implementation.
Urging adolescents to stay away from any sexually related activities that could lead to delay in their educational lives, Mr. Ablo further urge parents to support their children should they get pregnant alongside schooling.
"We are here to review the implementation of adolescents pregnancy strategy, we did the 1st review earlier this year, so it has come to the time we will do the second review to see how well have come in the implementation. First of all, we should continue to support and prevent the girls and boys to behave in these risky behaviours, not should engage in sex, no, they should try much as possible to educate them so they do not get into sexual relationships.
"But should the girl child gets pregnant, parents must support them throughout the period and after they should take care of the child to enable the girl to return to school by providing the necessary equipment for them", he explained.
Abigail Edem Nuhu, programme assistant, UNICEF, emphasised that "we will have laws in the country if the girl child is not 18 years and above you can not engage her in sexual relationships. If you are caught by the laws, the least years you will serve in jail is 7 years.
"The fact that the child has breasts and buttons does not mean she is off age. If you are not sure of the girl's age ask her to bring her birth certificate".